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Michigan Runner Girl

The Michigan Runner Girl podcast is where you'll find a passion for running crosses paths with a love of living healthy in the beautiful state of Michigan. Runner, mother, writer and lover of all things Michigan Heather Durocher, creator of the running and travel site MichiganRunnerGirl.com, hosts the show, along with regular appearances by fellow Michigan Runner Girls (and Guys). Expect to hear informative and entertaining conversations with runners, race directors and fitness experts throughout Michigan during this weekly show. You'll learn about new races to try and great places to explore on foot. The Michigan Runner Girl podcast is all about living in a state of motion.
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Now displaying: October, 2018
Oct 29, 2018

When two of the funniest women you know get together—finally—to share stories of great Michigan trails to explore and fall races to run, you just know it's going to be epic. This is, of course, what happened when Maia Turek, statewide recreation programmer for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and Kelly Yauk, e-marketing manager for the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Traverse City, joined Heather in the studio for the latest show. 

While they've all known one another for awhile now, this recording marked the first time Heather, Kelly and Maia all sat down together—and just as Heather suspected, the gathering was one for the books. Kelly and Maia are hilarious and smart and just a ton of fun to be around. Topics covered ran the gamut, from the Great Beerd Run next month at the Resort (Kelly is the mastermind behind this untimed fun run 5K that incorporates beer stations throughout the course) and the creative ways runners at this event celebrate "all things beers and beards," to the cool connection Maia and Kelly have with each other (Kelly's dad has worked for the DNR for a long time; he is an expert on our state's beautiful trails) and how the two of them first met (a motorcycle was involved). They also talk excitedly about the Iron Belle Trail, which extends more than 2,000 miles from the far western tip of the Upper Peninsula to Belle Isle in Detroit on a biking trail and hiking trail. The biking route utilizes many of the state’s existing bike paths, bike lanes, and signed, designated biking routes as it travels up the east side of the state, while the hiking route utilizes sidewalks, trails, and the 1,000-mile plus North Country National Scenic Trail traveling up the west side of the lower peninsula.

Get ready to laugh—and sign up for next month's Great Beerd Run-when you listen to this episode. Kelly and Heather convinced Maia to join the fun at the 5K on Nov. 10—you all should join us, too. (Discount code shared during the show!)

Oct 15, 2018

It’s a big week for fall racing in Michigan with this Sunday marking the 41st running of the Detroit Free Press Chemical Bank Marathon and Half Marathon. Since 1989, Barbara Bennage has been involved with helping organizing this race tradition in The D. She’s served as executive race director of the event since 2014.

“The best part about my job, aside from giving runners the opportunity to experience a unique race and change their lives, is I have the greatest staff in the world,” says Barbara, who works in the marketing department at the Detroit Free Press and describes herself as a recreational runner – “I run for mimosas,” she jokes.

This race brings between 26,000 – 27,000 runners to the downtown streets of Detroit, across the Ambassador Bridge into the Canada (for the international races), and onto Belle Isle. Barbara shares the history of the longstanding race – it started as the Motor City Marathon in 1963; the course began including the Ambassador Bridge, which connects Detroit with Windsor, Ontario, Canada, in the late 1970s – and also explains how today there are both international and domestic distances for runners, and what that means for the runner experience.

Barbara also talks about the race’s health and fitness expo that takes place in Cobo Hall this Friday and Saturday. More than 100 exhibitors will be on hand for this event. The race after-party, meanwhile, is a big celebration that offers some $5,000 in giveaways.

While online registration is over, runners still can sign up for domestic races this weekend (not race day) at the health and fitness expo. There is a 5K and mile option, too. Learn more at the race web site: https://www.freepmarathon.com/

Oct 8, 2018

When was the last time you tried something different with your exercise routine, when you decided it was time to shake things up -- and then you went for it? 

Heather and co-host Cassy Stone dive deep into what it means to ask ourselves, "What's next?" as it relates to considering a big goal, whether it's starting to run for the first time, training for a first 5K, getting back into running after a break (due to injury, illness, or otherwise), or testing out a new-to-you sport. Heather and Cassy share their own experiences of breaking out of ruts and setting big goals. They reflect on what these endeavors meant to them at the time -- and how they helped shape their lives, both as runners and as women, wives, mothers, and friends.

Heather talks about why she feels now is the time to go big by signing up for her first IRONMAN 70.3 next summer. Cassy shares how living with a chronic disease impacts her running and everyday life -- and how she's looking forward to seeing where her determination and strength will take her at an upcoming 5K. 

Heather and Cass also laugh their way through a conversation about a shared favorite podcast featuring a well-known film and TV star (and Michigan native). 

If you've ever found yourself thinking it's time to shake things up a little, but maybe you're not sure exactly how that'll look, this episode is for you. You'll be inspired to get moving in the direction your heart is leading you.

Oct 2, 2018

Next summer, on Aug. 25, Michigan will get its second IRONMAN 70.3 – behind IRONMAN 70.3 Steelhead in Benton Harbor, set for June 30, 2019 – when Traverse City hosts the triathlon featuring a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, and 13.1-mile run.

Buzz around this new event has been significant, to say the least, with athletes throughout Michigan and beyond eagerly anticipating registration day last month. And when general registration opened on Sept. 25, the race filled up incredibly fast – within a half hour, according to race organizers. Heather is among the 2,500 athletes signed on for this race.

To hear all about this exciting new event coming to northern Michigan, Heather sat down with Frank Lowery, Midwest and Great Plains Regional Director for IRONMAN, and Joel Gaff, IRONMAN 70.3 Traverse City race director.

While exact course details aren’t yet available – Joel and Frank are now working on building out where athletes will swim, bike, and run – they do share that the race will take participants into West Grand Traverse Bay, into Leelanau County, and around Boardman Lake and through downtown Traverse City. They also offer up great insight into what an IRONMAN race is really like, the training that’s involved, the athletes (of all ages and experience) who come out for these events, and many more details. As triathletes themselves (Joel, a Traverse City native and longtime race director, recently finished his 6th full IRONMAN races), Heather’s guests are well versed in triathlon and share their own experiences taking on swim-bike-run events.

Heather will be sharing all of her training in the coming months leading up to IRONMAN 70.3 Traverse City – stay tuned for more here on the podcast and over on the MRG blog.

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